Andrea Smith is associate professor in the Department of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of California, Riverside. Her publications include (Duke University Press, 2008), and (South End Press, 2005).
[Editor’s note: the transcript, edited lightly for length and clarity, appears below.]
Many scholars in Native Studies have argued that the field has been co-opted by broader discourses, such as ethnic studies or post-colonial studies.1 Their contention is that ethnic studies elide Native claims to sovereignty by rendering Native peoples as ethnic groups suffering racial discrimination rather than as nations who are undergoing colonization. These scholars and activists rightly point to the neglect within ethnic studies and within broader racial-justice struggles of the unique legal position Native peoples have in the United States. At the same time…
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